Photo credit PEO Soldier
A Soldier aims an XM25 weapon system at Aberdeen Test Center, Md. Five XM25s are being used now in Afghanistan.
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Feb. 3, 2011) — Only five XM25 weapons exist today, but Soldiers lucky enough to have used them in Afghanistan are saying more are needed.
Two Soldiers took the prototype weapons into theater to link them up with requesting units. They trained troops on the weapon’s use and managed the Forward Operational Assessment to collect information about the weapon’s performance in theater and how Soldiers used it.
“The XM25 brought the difference to whether they would stay there 15 to 20 minutes shooting (and) taking pot shots or the actual fight ended after using the XM25,” said Sgt. 1st Class Carlos Smith, Soldier Requirements Division, Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning, Ga. “That was due to the defilade capabilities of the XM25 to shoot beyond targets and behind targets.”
The XM25 allows Soldiers to engage defilade targets — those behind a barrier, protected from oncoming weapons fire. The XM25 measures the distance to the enemy’s protective barrier, and can then program the round to detonate a user-adjustable distance past that — allowing Soldiers to put an air-bursting round directly above the enemy’s head, inside their protected area.
The round measures the distance it travels by counting its own rotations after leaving the barrel.
Both Smith and Maj. Christopher Conley, an assistant product manager for Program Manager Soldier Weapons, at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., were part of the team that brought those weapons into theater for Soldiers to use in actual combat. The five prototype weapons entered theater in November, and were first used in combat Dec. 3.
……Some Soldiers who’ve used the XM25 in Afghanistan had taken to naming the weapon — though there is no official name for the system yet.
“The kids are calling it ‘the Punisher,'” said Brig. Gen. Peter N. Fuller, who heads up the Program Executive Office Soldier. “I don’t know what we’re going to title this product, but it seems to be game-changing. You no longer can shoot at American forces and then hide behind something. We’re going to reach out and touch you.”
……”What our Soldiers have told us is, when we do fire this weapon, it does have a high probability of effect,” Lehner said. “The enemy stops firing. They flee. They drag off their casualties.
Put as many of these weapons in the hands of Soldiers as possible, so they can ‘punish’ the muzzie enemy by the bushel.